Extrusion and Rivet
31 July 2016
Recently, Dear Reader, I was deeply honored to have my poem Extrusion selected by Cirque: A Literary Journal for Alaska and the Pacific Northwest for publication in their 14th. Issue, which was released this July. Mighty massive thanks to Editor Sandra Kleven, a savvy, insightful editor and skookum friend.
While I was unable to attend the launch here in Rage City, a dear friend, cohort, and fellow poet, Peter Porco—also featured in this issue of Cirque, I should add— intrepidly elected to read it during the festivities.
A thousand thanks, Peter, you made the plight of that little yard lizard, and our hand in its fate, creep into the minds of all who see the clip, and you do it with sangfroid. My hat’s off to you.
The video can be found on Cirque’s fab facebook page: Cirque Journal; meanwhile, if I can find a way to embed it you know I will.
I’m taking down the version that was featured here. If you’d like to have a read, please surf over to Cirque, where I am surrounded by a convocation of immensely talented poets, authors, and artists. Fully available online, you can also order a copy for a fair price. (I receive naught a penny on sales, folks…just that being a poet, I’ll always dig pages over pixels.)
It somehow feels unnatural, disingenuous even, to leave you without a poem. It is my job, after all. And you’ve come all this way for a sales pitch!?! I think not.
Lately the concept of redemption has been on my mind. You don’t have to look far to find symptoms of rot, apathy, and naked greed in our society, but in the same glance you’ll find countless souls seeking redemption; and so often it is these very souls that display the most remarkable acts of generosity, kindness, and human empathy. This is for those of us on the path of Redemption; may you find what you seek…
—Variant № 8
Redemption is a steel beam
running up your spine.
I recommend a permanent installation
affixed on the outside, a gruesome renovation.
There it can be seen by all, and
with ease polished to a high sheen
To avoid the unsightly tarnish
of blood, shame, and rust.
With hot rivets, hammer the bone-girder
right into your marrow;
Where in cannot become dislodged
by the innate brittleness
Of occasional backsliding and failure.
—Or did you believe the slate wiped clean?
You believed Absolution is final?
No, as with our mistakes
We are interdependent
with our Saviors.
So, strive not to walk too stiffly
beneath your bone-grafted burden.
Bear your penance with some show of dignity,
ignoring the desultory loathing
You will find in those unwilling
to fashion their own soul scaffolding.
Smile when invariably you’re asked why
you walk so strangely, as if
you had a steel beam shoved up your ass?
Just tell them that you have been Redeemed.
~by DC McKenzie
22 June 2016
This piece gave me both a rueful smile and some teary eyes… reminding we will face redemption again and again and bear it for the world to see… some kind souls and some that will undoubtedly scorn. Ultimately, we are strong.
August at 12:29 pm
My dear friend, I can see you waving to me, high atop the scaffold you’re building around your own soul; and what a lovely espalier it is…rooted deep, whose fruit is your words. Such breathtaking words…
August at 3:33 pm
Those words, Dawn.
August at 11:37 am
I want to thank you for your heartfelt comment on my blog bio. As time goes by and people get their info in smaller and smaller bits, blogging does not attract the voracious art seekers it once did. I appreciate your kind words. It’s notes like yours (though very few and far between) that keep me plugging away in this rapidly fading medium of expression. Your poetry is beautifully raw, elegant and evocative. Nice work!
August at 4:53 pm
Many thanks to you as well. I heartily agree with you that our corners of the ‘net feel smaller & smaller every day. The seekers after the unique seem to’ve been co-opted by sites like daily kos, etc.
For whatever reason, it can be a little quiet in certain corners the interwebs, as I said. Hence, I’m grateful for your taking the time to leave a note of such kindness. I also find solace in rare notes from other seekers of the rare and beautiful.
Perhaps Henry James said it best in one of my fav. quotes: “We work in the dark—we do what we can—we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”
Bon Chance, fellow blogger, and au revoir!
August at 4:02 pm